Should your baristas get tips?

Helena Echlin of food & drink blog Chow wrote about barista-tipping etiquette a few days ago. Here is the gist of her take:

When it comes to the person who makes your coffee, I say use the same rule of thumb you should use for any food-service counter worker (ice cream scooper, deli sandwich-maker, boulangerie attendant, taqueria employee): If you feel he or she has gone beyond the industry norms, made you laugh, given you something extra she needn’t have, in some way noticeably improved your life, if only for a moment, tip her.

Ms. Echlin makes some interesting points that reveal the customer’s perspective to us, but what does this mean to you as a retailer?

If tipping is part of your vision for your café, it’s worth paying attention to. Tipping is a good indicator of the level of service your staff provides as well as the level of service your customers expect. If your baristas aren’t getting tips, it may mean that your drinks aren’t to your customers’ tastes, that your customers perceive a lack of craft, or simply that your baristas haven’t engaged their customers like Ms. Echlin describes.

If your baristas are getting tips, you may want to check for big differences in the amounts they collect. Disparities in tips can reveal inconsistent drink preparation, lack of up-selling, and other problems that a little retraining could solve.

If you’re interested in getting high-quality training for your staff, drop us a line! Ask about our Barista Certification program at 800.835.5943.